Whats the Hardest Part of Being a DM?

Whats the Hardest Part of Being a DM?

Whats the Hardest Part of Being a DM?

Earlier this week, over on Instagram, I asked this question: What is the hardest part of being a DM?
Dungeon Master Questions
I got hundreds of responses and as I started to sift through and answer them, I realized something. I was seeing responses that could be basically organized into 5 broad categories.  
  1. Interpersonal Issues- things like out of character fights, people deliberately derailing the campaign or people acting like they are the central character.
  2. Preparation- not enough time and over thinking the prep.
  3. Scheduling- How do we all find the time to actually play?
  4. Unexpected character decisions- not necessarily malicious choices but the characters don’t always make the decisions you think they will.
  5. Keeping the game moving- This includes making combat engaging, and encouraging role play (not just roll play).
After I did all my not-so-scientific calculations, the results looked something like this.
Dungeon Master Quiz
The most revealing piece of information in this chart is that some of the biggest struggles of DMs don’t come from the table, but the people around the table.

Dealing with the humans at your game can be one of the greatest challenges for a Dungeon Master (DC30). Which is why it’s so important to talk with your players before and after the game about expectations. Why do you play? What is fun for you? What back story issues do you want to deal with?

Making sure everyone at the table is on the same page is crucial to a fun game that everyone enjoys. If you just dive in and hope for the best you are not setting yourself or your players up to win. Managing expectations is just as an important part of preparations as a compelling story or a balanced encounter.

Don’t avoid it. It might be hard, but it’s worth it.  
Ok, that’s it for this week. See you next time and until then, may the dice be ever in your favor, 

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